Hope you’re well. A few tidbits.
1. I think you’ll see Georgia State give a much better account of itself Saturday. I’m not saying the Panthers are going to, you know, burn out the scoreboard, but you should get a much better indication of what the team can do. After a bad week of practice led to the loss to Lambuth, the focus has been higher this week. Wide receivers coach/assistant head coach George Pugh said players have paid more attention to detail this week than they have since the team opened camp at the beginning of August.
“You’ve got a choice (after a loss),” he said. “Either you can get better or you can just wallow in it and never overcome it. But I think we’ve got some good kids and that we’ll bounce back.”
2. Wrinkles. You will likely see some new stuff offensively on Saturday that you haven’t seen in the first two games. The rumors are true: Georgia State is going to the Wing-T. Heh, heh. Just a little formation humor for you.
Actually, though, just from being at practice for awhile Tuesday and Thursday, it looked like they were working on a few plays I hadn’t seen before, which Bill Curry acknowledged.
It’s one thing I appreciate about him. He could have talked his way around it or just said, “No, we’ve been doing this all year” or some other half-truth, but didn’t.
“Yes, we have some new things,” he said. “To play a team like this and not try to exploit some of the things you see (on film) is foolish.”
3. Cue up “Hoosiers.” I think Curry is working the David-Goliath angle with his players this week. He mentioned that Jacksonville State has been playing since 1904 and has played 881 games in school history, whereas Georgia State has played two. A few minutes before, Pugh had mentioned something similar. Something tells me they didn’t do the math separately, so I imagine it’s been shared with the team.
4. Your Star Jackson update. I asked Curry if Jackson looked “ready” to play. He said, “Star is better each week, that’s all I can say. ‘Ready’ is a very different term from improving every week.”
That could mean he’s not ready or it could mean Curry intends to play him, but doesn’t want to reveal his hand. I’m not sure. I tend to think it’s the former. I guess we’ll find out Saturday. (You could reasonably point out that two items above I mentioned that I appreciated Curry’s honesty and ask what the difference is in this case. I went down this road with him before the season and he wouldn’t, for reasons of competitive advantage, confirm that Drew Little would start against Shorter even though it was pretty obvious he was getting the most practice time. So, I guess maybe it’s one thing to say you have “new things” and another to say which quarterback will play. All that said, it’s just reading tea leaves.)
It bears mention that offensive coordinator John Bond said earlier in the week he expected Jackson to play. (Along with Kelton Hill and Little, who will start.)
5. A quick thought on Kennesaw State. It certainly appears that they’ve started the train to start football in 2014. Like Georgia State, it’s anybody’s guess how popular the team will be. One thing that could make a difference is, to follow the thread of the last blog, what conference KSU joins. They’re in the Atlantic Sun, which doesn’t have football, so maybe they’d move to the Southern Conference or Ohio Valley Conference or Colonial Athletic Association.
I tend to agree with the reasoning that being in the Southern would be a good move because the other members are more local and would probably help with attendance and building up rivalries.
But, as I was telling a reader in an e-mail, one thing that might help both KSU and GSU would be to set up a three-way round-robin with Georgia Southern and have some sort of trophy for the winner, kind of like the Army, Navy and Air Force have. (Academy graduates, let’s get this out of the way. I’m not saying the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy is the same thing as the Peach Basket or whatever they’d call it. I’m just talking about the format.)
But we’re a long way from that happening. They’ve first got to deal with some displeased regents, who weren’t keen on the fact that they didn’t know that the school was announcing the recommendation of the football exploratory committee – and basically committing to football – without being apprised of it and having a chance to discuss it with the school.
6. Joe Hamilton. Had a couple interesting interviews with the Tech great, who is interning for GSU in recruiting. He’s been working for the team since the summer. He talked about his DUI arrest in 2008 that led to his resignation from a job with the Tech staff, his aspirations and what he’s doing for GSU, which includes a lot of menial stuff like getting transcripts for recruits.
Said Hamilton, “I want to do it from the ground up, do it like everybody else does it so nobody can say they gave Joe. Hamilton anything because I knew somebody or knew this person that I was able to get into this position. I want to work my way from the bottom.”
(Edit) The story will probably be out next week. (I’d written previously here it’d be up online Friday, but it’s been held.)